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Fans of the wizarding world of Harry Potter were more than a little surprised to discover that the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wouldn't simply have one sequel, but several. It turns out, the cast was just as surprised. Eddie Redmayne says that when the news was revealed at the recent fan event that there would be a total of five movies, he learned the news along with the rest of us.
When she said we were doing five, that was news to us... there's so much that we're not privy to.
It's not unusual for the cast to not be given details about major franchises. The studios hate leaks and whether they're intentional or accidental, the easiest way to prevent them is simply to not give out the information at all. At the same time, Eddie Redmayne's comments at the Entertainment Weekly Popfest are a bit surprising to hear. One would expect that all of the stars of the movies would have signed contracts to make sure they'd be around for the entire run before the studio would have been willing to announce the five movie plan publicly. Of course, there's the distinct possibility that future films may not include everybody who's appearing in the first one.
We knew there was going to be a second film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, and we fully expected a trilogy, but the announcement that there would be a total of five films in the franchise caught everybody off guard. Perhaps the fact that nobody saw it coming is an indication that the story is going off in a somewhat different direction than we might expect. Eddie Redmayne himself points out that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may be the entry point into the new story, but the story itself will be dealing with much larger ideas.
I think Fantastic Beasts the title, and Newt and his creatures, are a way into this world. But there's a much bigger story here about good versus evil that she wants to tell, and you haven't seen much of it in the trailers and the clips of the film. But it's really a core of the story that she's telling and it has an epic, epic quality to it. ... So I do see that [Fantastic Beasts] is a macro story that could take more time.
While the exact details of the larger story have not been made clear, we have certainly seen that there is more going on in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them than a single man trying to recapture creatures he has lost. There's some conflict about whether or not wizards should be living in the shadows and hiding their existence from the rest of the world. There's also a lot of other indications about where the story may go after the first film.
We'll have to wait and see if everybody introduced in Fantastic Beasts carries on through the entire series. The first film of five hits theaters November 18.